Early voting has become very popular here in Florida, but early voting is a convenience, not a right.
Florida lawmakers have adopted new legislation that is supposed to fine tune and expand the early voting program, but the people in charge of running the elections aren’t necessarily pleased with those changes.
Local voters may actually be the ones to be first affected by the changes were they go to the polls in June for a special election to replace David Coley in the Florida House of Representatives,
Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen says the legislation not only creates a lot more work, it creates the opposite effect lawmakers wanted by creating inconvenience and confusion.
Touch screen voting will only be available during early voting. You can also use the standard optical scan process that you have been using for a number of past elections.
The legislature also passed new restrictions on early voting. Polls will NOT be open the Monday before Election Day and they can only operate eight hours a day when they are open.
Early voting on Saturday’s will still be allowed.
The law also says early voting can only be done at the supervisor of elections office or in city halls.
The legislation is now sitting on Gov. Jeb Bush’s desk for his signature. If he signs it different parts of the law would be phased in over the next year.